Discussion of the role of the clergy in relation to the forces of progress and modernization since the advent of Islam by a well-known political analyst.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
English Translation of Table of Contents
1. The Commonality and Kinship of Theocratic Systems and All Despotic Systems.
2. The Role of Clericalism in Composition of the Despotic Pyramid.
3. Ultra nationalism and Exaggeration of National Superiority.
4. The Initial Groundwork of Formation of Shiism.
5. Positions of Shiite Clergy during the Safavid Dynasty.
6. Europe in the Midst of Philosophical and Scientific Enlightenment. Iran Entangled in “School’s” Mohammad Bagher Majlesi.
7. A Brief Overview of a Few Shiite Theological Works.
8. Shiite Clergy’s Confrontation with any Type of Modernity.
9. Frigid Thoughts and Forging History.
10. An Effective Incident in the National Movement.
11. Anti “Tobacco Regie” Movement a Successful and Powerful Experiment.
12. Constitutionalism and Clericalism.
13. Evaluation of Schools of Thoughts during the Initial Constitutionalist Uprisings.
14. An Overview of the Arguments of Those who advocated the Islamized Constitution.
15. Where Did the Labeling of Constitutionalists as Babis Originate From?
16. The Consequences of Clergy’s Influence on the National Movement.
17. The Grand Constitutionalist Clerics.
18. A Thorough Examination of a Great Cleric’s Thoughts (Mirza Mohammad Hossein Naini Gharavi).
19. The Contradiction of Ideas between Theocrats and Modernists.
20. The Early Parliamentary Experiences.
21. The Clergy’s Sensitivity towards Rationalism.
22. Towards Secularism.
23. Images of Sterile Thoughts in the Clerical Community.
24. A Worthy Leadership and a Glorious Mass Movement.
25. The Religious and Political Inclination among the Constitutionalist Clergy.
26. In the Line of Events.
27. The Unholy Alliance (The Court, Clerics and Foreigners).
28. A Few Key Questions.
29. The Clerics Position after Mohammad Ali Shah’s Coup D’Etat.
30. Final Words -- Summary.
Mehdi Ghassemi was born on July 29 1928 in Tehran. He studied law, political science and history. He studied Iranian mysticism in the Islamic period under scholars such as Badiolzaman Foruzanfar and Jalaledin Homai.
From 1949 to 1977 he wrote and was the editor of various political, cultural and scholarly periodicals. For over ten years he worked at Iran Radio in the beginning as a producer and later on as a political commentator, and for five years was the Chief Editor. During the same period he was a member of the High Council for the Study of National Issues (Ministry of Education) for three years.
Prior to the 1979 Revolution he emigrated to the England and he has been residing in the United States for the past nineteen years. During this time he has contributed to many Persian publications published outside of Iran.
He has written two theses. The first is entitled: From Westoxication to the Velayat-e Faqih. The second: Manifestations of Ideas in Persian Literature. Both were published simultaneously in the Paris weekly Ghiyam-e Iran. Both are being revised and will be published in the future.